The other day, one of my friends said something along the lines of, “I’m a girl; I need drama.” I laughed and agreed as we went on to talk about someone neither of us particularly likes, because of some drama that is going on in that person’s life. The idea that “I’m a girl; I need drama,” is totally normal for girls to think. In fact, I’m sure that it’s probably a phrase that every girl has heard or thought at least once in her life at one point or another. However, even though it may be normal, it’s not right. My friend and I weren’t necessarily talking badly about the other person, but we weren’t talking about that person in a positive and uplifting way either. When the Bible tells us not to talk about people, it says:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
And, earlier in the Old Testament, God talks about the power of gossiping about people:
A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.
Proverbs 16:28 (NIV)
It is very hard for someone to get on my bad side. Once you’ve made an impression on me, assuming it was a good first impression, you have to do a lot of stupid and hurtful things to get on my bad side. On the other hand, if one of your first impressions on me is a bad one, then it’ll be really difficult for me to see you in a positive light. To those who have made good impressions on me, I am loyal to a fault—so that even if that person (and of course he or she does) have a fault, I can normally look completely past it and lift him or her up higher than I probably should. However, to those who haven’t made a good impression on me, it’s very easy and more likely that I will remember every single shortcoming he or she has that I have seen and discuss it with someone else every chance that I get.
As effortlessly as it is for me to speak highly of my favorite people in the world, it’s even more effortless for me to speak down about my least favorite people in the world. I can only think of three people that I have ever had to genuinely try to like, because they were that hard to like, that I pretty much always talk down about; but I can think of about half a dozen to a dozen people who have burned me enough that I go back and forth between talking highly and talking down about them. As I’ve written in past blog posts, I am a church girl. I grew up in the church so I’ve heard every variation of the “Gossiping is Sinning” sermon, but knowing it’s a sin doesn’t make it any easier not to do it! As much as I like to pride myself in saying I try to love everyone who crosses my path, that’s not always how things happen for me. I catch myself gossiping more times than I’d like to admit and gossiping is not loving…. Gossiping is hating.
As much as I know that gossiping is wrong, it doesn’t feel wrong in the moment. It feels easy, natural, normal, and even good. As my Favorite Minion, Holly, once told me, “It is easy to gossip because it feels good in the moment… and you think you are building yourself up. But in reality you are just digging a deeper hole for yourself and you start believing the world is centered around you.” Whether consciously or subconsciously, I gossip because it makes me feel like I’m better than whoever I’m talking about. Nothing is wrong with me feeling good about myself, but everything is wrong with me feeling good about myself at the expense of someone else. When I talk about people behind their back, I am no better than a bully. In fact, for all intents and purposes, I am a bully.
The words I say about someone, whether to their face or behind their back, can and normally do leave a permanent mark on that person’s life. When I speak good and wholesome things to people, it will most likely make them feel good about themselves, whereas when I speak mean and hurtful things to people, it will most likely leave some kind of a permanent scar on their heart. When I speak positive things about people, those who hear me will most likely think positive things about the person I’m talking about; whereas when I speak negatively about people, I am most likely a catalyst causing other people to think negative thoughts about the person I talk about.
My point in this whole post is to say, “Yes, we are girls, but no we do not need drama!” Drama is almost always a direct or indirect result from something that someone said to or about someone else. My goal is to stop talking to and about people unless I have something positive to say about them. I challenge you to make that your goal as well! It’s time we say and think, “I’m a girl. I need to avoid drama and put out the fire that starts it!”
This goal won’t be easy to accomplish because in James 3:8, the Bible says “no human being can tame the tongue” and in Proverbs 12:18 it says, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” However, in Proverbs 21:23 the Bible also says, “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble” and let’s not forget that Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” You and I might not be able to tame our tongues on our own, but through the power of Christ, if we allow Him to work through us, we can and will tame our tongues so that we will speak only words of kindness and love about people.